In the world of cinema, certain films emerge as jewels, capturing the essence of human stories with extraordinary finesse. May December is one such cinematic gem that has recently graced our screens.
Directed by the highly acclaimed filmmaker, Todd Haynes, this film first made its mark at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May. Now, it eagerly awaits its limited theatrical release before finding its way to the global audience on Netflix.
A Riveting Storyline
“May December” draws its inspiration from the complex and real-life tale of Mary Kay Letourneau, an American teacher whose life was embroiled in scandal due to her illicit relationship with a 12-year-old student.
At its heart, the film follows the journey of Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry, portrayed with remarkable depth by the incomparable Natalie Portman. Elizabeth is tasked with the challenging role of Gracie Atherton-Yoo, who stands in for Letourneau on screen.
To prepare for her role, Elizabeth embarks on an unconventional research journey that leads her into the depths of Gracie’s tumultuous life. Within this narrative lies a web of intricate family ties, with Gracie, her young husband Joe Yoo, portrayed by the talented Charles Melton, and the child they conceived when Joe was just 13 years old—born behind prison bars. Melton is probably known more by young viewers of the phenomenon Riverdale, incredibly, this transition into a more dramatic role might get him his first Oscar nomination.
The Talented Minds Behind the Scenes of ‘May December’
While the captivating performances of the lead actors steal the limelight, “May December” owes much of its brilliance to the creative genius of screenwriter Samy Burch and Director Todd Haynes. Burch’s storytelling prowess weaves a narrative that keeps audiences spellbound.
While Todd Haynes, a luminary in the world of cinema, is a director renowned for his distinctive and visionary storytelling. With a career spanning decades, his films include Carol, and Far From Heaven.
The film also boasts an ensemble cast, including D.W. Moffett, Piper Curda, Elizabeth Yu, Gabriel Chung, Cory Michael Smith, and Lawrence Arancio, all of whom contribute their exceptional talents to bring this story to life.
‘May December’ Critical Acclaim
The film’s debut at Cannes was met with critical acclaim, with Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, describing “May December” as a “deep-as-you-want-to-go rabbit-hole drama.” What sets this film apart is its ability to compel audiences to reflect on the intricate layers of performance, reality, and representation within the world of filmmaking.
One of the standout aspects of “May December” is Julianne Moore’s portrayal of Gracie Atherton-Yoo. Moore, a seasoned actor, skillfully steps into the shoes of a woman who finds herself entangled in controversy.
Gracie is a character who describes herself as “naive” but is deeply invested in how she will eventually be portrayed on screen. Moore’s performance raises thought-provoking questions about the perception and manipulation that often accompany the art of filmmaking.
Release Dates to Remember
For those eagerly anticipating “May December,” there are some important dates to mark on your calendar. The film is set to open the 2023 New York Film Festival, where it will serve as the captivating opening act in late September.
Following this grand premiere, “May December” will embark on a limited theatrical release on Nov. 17, giving cinema-goers the opportunity to immerse themselves in its gripping narrative. Finally, on Dec. 1, the film will make its way to Netflix, allowing a global audience to experience its brilliance from the comfort of their homes. Watch the newly released trailer below:
As the excitement continues to build around “May December,” it promises to take audiences on a profound cinematic journey. This film invites viewers to explore the boundaries of reality and storytelling while showcasing stellar performances by Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton.